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[Review] Impressions of the Final Audio Design FI-BA-SS versus the SM3, FX700 and e-Q7 - Page 14

post #196 of 268

The FADs sounded a bit coarse to me to be honest and it is definitely colored. However it is pretty amazing that it could produce suich high SQ given that it uses single driver. But you don't know what "unveiled" truly means until you try the SR009, IMO.

post #197 of 268
Quote:
Originally Posted by googleli View Post

But you don't know what "unveiled" truly means until you try the SR009, IMO.


I'll find out in a few weeks when I get a listen.  I'll remain skeptical until then.      

 

post #198 of 268
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by googleli View Post

The FADs sounded a bit coarse to me to be honest and it is definitely colored. However it is pretty amazing that it could produce suich high SQ given that it uses single driver. But you don't know what "unveiled" truly means until you try the SR009, IMO.

 

I respect your opinion, but I bet you auditioned the FI-BA-SS with stock tips, which make them overly sharp. The Hybrids suit them better and no, they don't sound coarse to my ears (with good recordings). I couldn't stand a coarse phone with classical and these are my favorites so far. But ymmv and I think you just happen to prefer a smoother signature.

 

As for them being colored, any phone that's highly transparent cannot have much coloration in my book, cause unnatural timbre would ruin transparency. The FI-BA-SS are world champions in removing themselves from my ears, so they may have a spike or two to help them pull that off, but definitely no gross coloration.

 

I took a look at the SR009, very nice indeed but aren't we comparing apples and oranges here?

post #199 of 268
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

I respect your opinion, but I bet you auditioned the FI-BA-SS with stock tips, which make them overly sharp. The Hybrids suit them better and no, they don't sound coarse to my ears (with good recordings). I couldn't stand a coarse phone with classical and these are my favorites so far. But ymmv and I think you just happen to prefer a smoother signature.

 

As for them being colored, any phone that's highly transparent cannot have much coloration in my book, cause unnatural timbre would ruin transparency. The FI-BA-SS are world champions in removing themselves from my ears, so they may have a spike or two to help them pull that off, but definitely no gross coloration.


x2 on all that James.  Except the Hybrids made them sound like EX600s for me.  >.<  Hehe.  

post #200 of 268
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post


I've no objections against passing the loaner on after Anax is done. I know you US guys lost your Triple-A lately, but you're still good enough for me. " id="yui_3_3_0_8_131286025521318" rel="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies/wink.gif">wink.gif


That would be AA+ of you! biggrin.gif
post #201 of 268
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inks View Post

 Veil is hard to define at times, but I think one factor is the lack of an adequate ~6k peak the ear needs. EQ7s have that issue, but the driver makes up for it with good clarity but it resolves fine stuff, I think that's the nature of the driver. My problem with the EQ7 is that while there's a good texture, fine information is lost in the treble and the midrange to a lesser extent. The frequency presentation is fairly balanced but the driver seems to resolve a lot of fine stuff and it's presentation is almost too smooth and raspy throughout the range.  The EQ7 is one of the most clear IEMs when it comes to the macro-details or the apparent stuff but once you reach the micro stuff, fine details are lost. Like the SM3 and IE8, I think the EQ7 misses that peak the ear needs at around 6k and that makes the midrange sound almost too smooth. And also like the SM3, the lack of treble presence doesn't help it's case, though having that will make it run the risk of sounding edgy and warm at the same time which the EQ5 seems to do at times. 

 

The SM3s are a bit different though, all the fine details as there, they just get presented with that "veil" darkness due to the missing peak. IE8s were a bad case of too much midbass-hump that gathered too much attention and missing that ~6k peak. All 3 have different "veils".

 

No, e-Q7 actually has a bit of emphasis around 6 kHz, at least according to my ears. It's not the frequency response that makes it seem a bit veiled - it's mostly some lack of detail and definition in the highs I think. e-Q5 has better highs, but lacks some focus in the mids that makes it sound veiled too.

post #202 of 268
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post


I've no objections against passing the loaner on after Anax is done. I know you US guys lost your Triple-A lately, but you're still good enough for me. wink.gif



LOL @ james444. Now that's is funny!! hahaha!! Fun times in the USA is all I can say on that one...lol

post #203 of 268
Thread Starter 

^ My friend, I can tell you we have our share of the same fun here in Europe too, believe me... rolleyes.gif

post #204 of 268

 

Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

No, e-Q7 actually has a bit of emphasis around 6 kHz, at least according to my ears. It's not the frequency response that makes it seem a bit veiled - it's mostly some lack of detail and definition in the highs I think. e-Q5 has better highs, but lacks some focus in the mids that makes it sound veiled too.

Nope,it has a dip there (6K), it's peak is actually at 7.5k according to RMMA and my ears heard it at about 8k. This peak is actually enjoyable at times and retracts from the veil but it doesn't rid of it. The lack of presence and definition in the highs adds to the 6k-veil, but I don't think it's the main culprit (EQ5s are proof of this). It's actually a couple of factors that make that "veiled" sound,but the 6k lack is big one imo.
 

 


Edited by Inks - 8/10/11 at 12:22am
post #205 of 268
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

^ My friend, I can tell you we have our share of the same fun here in Europe too, believe me... rolleyes.gif


X2

 

post #206 of 268

The FAD's arrived today.  Currently using the old Shure e2c tips with them (similar to hybrids).  I'm not sure what I expected but I am impressed that all this is coming from 1 armature.  They are super clear and vocals sound really good.  Treble is a little too hot on some of my songs.  A tambourine just pierced my brain! eek.gif  I love their size and they look great.  Seems like the obvious choice to compare these to will be the EX1000 but today I'll just spend time getting to know the FAD's.

post #207 of 268

 

I’ve had a chance to spend a few days with the loaner FADS and put together a few thoughts.  I decided to compare them with my Sony EX1000’s since they are the clearest, most transparent competitor I have.  I must say that I really like the design of the FADS in chrome.  They have an art deco 1950’s Americana look to them.  Very classy.

 

Bass –

 

Quantities are not too far off but the Sony’s do have more.  I had to do volume matching as the FADS are a lot more efficient, so determining how much is difficult but I’d say the Sony’s have approximately 15% more.  The Sony’s also have more bass weight and more easily display pieces with subtle bass but texture is really good on the FAD’s and surprisingly (for me) holds its own here.  In fact I’d say the FADS may have better bass texture than the Westone 4’s dual bass drivers.  (I say may b/c I’m going by memory on that one.)

 

Mids –

 

The FADS mids are a little forward and distortion guitars have very good bite.  Mids in general and vocals are extremely clear sounding.  The Sony’s do not have the same bite for distortion guitars but are just as clear in vocals, which are not as forward as the FADS.  I think vocals have neutral placement with the Sony’s and FADS are consequently a tad forward to me.  I hear the same level of vocal detail between the two but the extra weight of the Sony’s sound provide for a more accurate vocal timbre and evoke more emotion.

 

Treble –

 

The FADs treble is much more forward than the Sony’s and extends further.  The FADS are overall clearer in their treble than the Sony’s.  I didn’t expect that! Treble details are brought front and center for a very revealing presentation.  In fact on some songs (not a majority) the treble can be too forward with cymbals and put their sound in front of everything else, producing a strange soundstage.

 

Soundstage, Instrument Separation & Dynamics –

 

The FADS are fairly wide but not very deep to me, as well as having excellent instrument separation.  The Sony’s are wider and deeper but do not have the level of instrument separation of the FADS.  Both can have spikes in treble at high volumes but I think the FADS fair better here without any blurring of instruments.  The FADS have some of the best dynamics I’ve heard on a BA and are fast and snappy.  I almost think they are a little too fast and their speed takes away from some emotion in slower or vocal focused songs but there is never any congestion.

 

Other thoughts –

 

The FADS sound really good with steel guitar (nice twang).  Overall timbre falls short of the Sony’s and lack of bass weight and note thinness affects realism for me.  For instance acoustic guitars sound very thin to me.  The FADS have really good distortion guitar crunch and along with that do not have the romantic note presentation the Sony’s tend to have.  Sadly the FADS do not much like the zo and no real benefit obtained.

 

All in all I’m pretty impressed that one armature can produce this kind of range and sound.  They are the transparency kings as far as I’m concerned.  That being said, the sound they produce is not really in the range of my preferences (thicker note, heavier bottom end) but I can certainly respect what they bring to the table.  Thanks to James for giving me the opportunity to experience these! 


Edited by shotgunshane - 8/21/11 at 7:25am
post #208 of 268
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

A tambourine just pierced my brain! eek.gif


Yeah, they have a bad habit of stabbing right into your cerebellum every now and then. wink.gif

post #209 of 268
I really like the long carrying case. Do they sell it separately?
post #210 of 268
Thread Starter 

No idea, I'd suggest you ask Dimitri (Musica Acoustics).

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